Whole milk is deficient in most vitamins and minerals according to National Research Council (NRC) guidelines for pre-weaned calves. Fortifying the liquid ration with a vitamin and trace mineral pack can help ensure calves receive the same amount of essential nutrients every day. Milk fortifiers can also deliver a host of other beneficial agents to calves through their milk ration, including coccidiostats, ionophores, larvacides, yeast supplements and essential oils.2. Balance for consistent calf nutrition
Whole milk has about 12.5 percent solids. Waste milk, by its very nature, is much more variable – ranging from 5 to 14 percent solids on any given day. That’s not the kind of TMR-like consistency you want for your calves.To maintain consistency, you should test waste milk every time it changes so you keep tabs on its contents. A Brix refractometer is a simple on-farm tool you can use to test solids. The standard indicator for solids level is “Brix plus two.” For example, if the Brix reading is 8, that batch of waste milk contains approximately 10 percent solids.A powdered balancer3. Extend to help with milk shortages
Most dairies have enough waste milk to provide 30 to 60 percent of the necessary supply to feed their pre-weaned calves.Extender products, similar to a 20:20 milk replacer, can be mixed with waste milk and water to stretch your supply to meet daily feeding and calf nutrition needs. The correct amount of water is usually added to the milk powder to match the whole milk solids level or meet another solids goal.Whole milk is and will continue to be the foundation of a great calf nutrition program. As your calf performance goals increase, so must the level of nutrition you provide. To keep up with calf growth demands and shorter weaning times, include whole milk as a part of a complete liquid – not the sole source of nutrition.
Learn more about how whole milk may be preventing your calves from meeting your growth goals at wholemilktruth.com.